You are important, too.

So, I thought I was back a few weeks ago, but obviously, I still had some work to do on me before I was ready to come back fully. I’m still working on me, but I think I have found A New Normal. Y’all know how much I love that phrase.

I am counting down on my final few semesters of SNHU before I graduate in October. I’ve really tried concentrating all of my free time towards these final few months as my classes have taken on a new level of dedication and commitment. My last few classes are all high level, prove what you have learned courses. I am enjoying them, but man, they are taking all of my attention outside of my job and family that I can muster.

My daughter also started a new pre-school and is going through such a growth spurt of knowledge and height, and did I mention attitude? She keeps us on our toes!

Plus now we are getting our roof replaced after a bad hail storm, our deck resurfaced, and just trying to keep up with the mountain of laundry that seems to appear weekly; it’s safe to say we are just busy! haley-phelps-119782

All in all, life has just kept going, and I’m doing all I can to keep up with it. It’s just the little moments when everything seems to be going on around me that I am trying to remember that I need to take care of me, too.

Maybe that’s the message of this post: Remembering you are important, too.

Holidays Are Upon Us

This time of year is always busy for me and my family. With the release of my new novel, Alyeska, and the various other events in our lives, I’m already stressing thinking about it!photo-1421906375741-f6bda4abe433.jpg

It starts with hubby’s birthday mid-November which I always try and make a big deal because you only turn your age once. There’s always a lot of poking and prodding in order to figure out what he would actually like to do for his big day, not to mention what he would like as a gift. He literally changes his mind on both accounts at least a dozen times before we have anything concrete in place a week before.

Next is Thanksgiving, and as we all know, that’s an undertaking in and of itself. A tradition I tried to start when my daughter was born was having the event at our house with all extended family and segment the meal preparations between us. That way everyone could spend the holiday together, and we wouldn’t have to run around visiting a bunch of different places. Due to some work related scheduling issues that is out the window this year.

It’s going to be a year of endurance like when hubby and I first ventured out on our own. We had a total of four Thanksgiving events and five for Christmas. Not necessarily a good thing, but events have become less, so it should only be two, maybe three events for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

Then comes my daughter’s birthday. We normally (I say normally even though we’ve only had one birthday for her so far) have her party early in the month due to travel during the holidays. Her first birthday, I went all out and invited way too many people! Not that I didn’t love each and every one of them for being there, but it was just very stressful to plan, organize, and host. I feel like I barely got to spend any time with my daughter on her special day.

This year I plan to keep things a bit lower key. Fewer people, less decorating, just more focus on my daughter! I have all the decorations I plan on doing, so all I need is food and drinks. Well, and to send out the invite.

Finally, Christmas. I have family that live about four hours away, so twice a year we go visit, and Christmas is one of those times. We will make the trip and spend two nights away from home then travel back on Christmas Eve in time for Santa to arrive at our house for Christmas morning. That day will be spent with my in-laws and hubby’s extended family then a day or two after with mine. family-in-snow

I haven’t even begun to shop yet! I am absolutely determined to not think about Christmas until Black Friday at the earliest. I won’t go out shopping during that mess, having worked in retail before, but I might start getting ideas for gifts in all the sale catalogs from my comfy couch.

The holidays are upon us, and with everything this time of year brings, I try to remind myself to enjoy it in the midst of the chaos. It really is a beautiful time year that brings families together, and in a blink of an eye, its over then we’ll be celebrating the New Year. AH! Haven’t even dared to think that far ahead!

Thank you. May I have another?

Story of my life right now, and not anyone’s fault but my own. I literally cannot stop. I wonder if there is a medical word for it. Like, could I seriously be diagnosed for this chronic issue I have? Or would it fall under more of an addiction type illness? 

Oh, it really is nothing serious, but I’m sure it could lead to me being burned out which my Human Relations in Administration course showed could cause undesirable emotional and physical strain in all aspects of life. Boy, do I know it! I take on way too much in my life, and it is always all at once. I can’t help it. I don’t know why I do it. I add on one thing, then another, and suddenly I’m looking around at my life and realize I have taken on way too much for one person.

But, I do it anyways. I honestly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t constantly find new and interesting things to fill my time. Maybe on some unconscious level I enjoy the feeling of being busy.

You’ll never find your limits until you’ve gone too far. – Aron Ralston

Take my current situation as an example. I am a wife, a new mother (how much longer can I say that before it is untrue? Two years? Three?), a full time student, a full time administrative professional, an active member of my local area network of professional administrators, writer and reader when possible, and now, I have joined UpWork.

UpWork is an online community for agencies and contractors to connect. Agencies post jobs, and contractors submit proposals to be hired for them. I originally stumbled upon it because I was looking for opportunities to work from home while still maintaining a decent salary. I was looking through job listings in the usual big-name websites and happened upon UpWork. I researched the company and was relieved to find that it is not a scam, although, there are reports of scammers prowling the forums. I read tips on how to avoid such scammers, and how to bid against verified agencies and create a lucrative profile.

I’ve done the research and am now selecting very specific agencies to work with. I have not had any of my five proposals accepted, yet (one was denied because they hired someone else with a lower rate). I really can’t say if I like it or not as of now because I haven’t worked with an agency, but it is kind of like Facebook. You look through the app when you’re bored and happen upon interesting tid-bits as you scroll through the feed. I’m not sure whether this will be a worthwhile venture, but it never hurts to try, right?

I’ll keep you posted on this endeavor!